The Best Ideas for Organizing Your Closet

Clothes on hangers

Closets are tough because we never have enough of them. It then becomes daunting when we can’t find what we’re looking for, especially when we want to get to an appointment on time.

A beautifully organized closet isn’t merely a Red Carpet luxury. It’s for the everyday woman who needs to streamline her morning routine. Being able to see what you have in front of you and pull yourself together in a snappy heartbeat is one of the best ways to start your day.

Need advice on organizing your closet?

Here are 48 budget-friendly and easy-to-do ideas to make the most of your closet and storage space.

Getting Started with Organizing Your Closet

Eliminate!! Edit, weed out and streamline! Avoid a clothing avalanche by regularly going through items you no longer wear and donating them to a charity, homeless shelter or thrift shop.  Or earn money by selling then on an online resale site. (I’ve done this many times.)  If you don’t use it, don’t keep it. Why organize what you don’t need?

Keep the 80/20 rule in mind. We wear the same 20% of the clothes 80% of the time.

Organizing your closet strategically and by category helps. Always keep things of alike together (dresses, jackets, slacks, sweaters, blouses, jeans). At a glance, you will know what you have. Not to mention, it will save you time and a mean headache when searching for something you can’t find.

Your eye responds to color. After sorting into categories, arrange it by color. Almost like a rainbow with white and black on opposite ends.

SNAPSHOT:  Edit. Sort by type, then by color, and finally by length. Also, sort short-sleeved to long –sleeve clothes and the same with hem length.

Credit: Piccolo Pictures

Organizing Your Closet Like a Pro

Labeling makes everything easier to find, especially when using baskets and bins that hold a myriad of items from T-shirts, workout clothing, sweatshirts, pajamas to flip-flops, totes and more.

In drawers, you can fold by file styling which allows you to see what you have at a glance.

If you’re limited on closet space, consider a freestanding unit or armoire for added storage. It becomes a home for accessories such as hats, scarves, belts, and handbags.

organizing your closet

Then there’s the dreaded stretch. There’s nothing worse than slipping on a beloved loosely woven sweater that’s been stretched out beyond repair. Not to mention those funky looking damaged shoulders.

You’re better off folding your sweaters. When needed, use extra care by placing tissue paper on the body of the sweater for protection and a cushion. You can also turn your delicate sweaters inside out when folding which will help to prevent snags.

If you’re short on shelving space my recommendation is to invest in well-made hangers with rounded shoulders designed to protect the shape of your clothing. My pick is hangers from All Hung Up Hangers. I love them because they’re kind to the earth and won’t end up in a landfill. They’re also super sturdy which means they’ll last for ages. If you need this in your life, you can get a 25% discount on your All Hung Up Hangers with my code: Ronni25

Please note clicking the links above will direct you to All Hung Up Hangers.

Credit: Piccolo Pictures

Try not to hang up clothing that needs mending, washing or it has to go to the dry cleaners. It’s just horrible to put on clothing and realize buttons are missing, the hem is loose, or that it’s all wrinkled.

Invest in a small handheld steamer for taking out those pesky wrinkles in a flash. It’s more precise and does a better job than turning on the shower for a quick steam.

Sharing a Closet Space

If you’re sharing a closet with your significant other make sure to keep closet etiquette in mind. Organizing your closet regularly is important when you share the space. Have a fair division of space and keep shoe boxes, workout shoes, laundry and plain old stuff on your turf. Use vertical space. Build shelves or place a bar for hanging clothing as high as you can. Use the backs of doors, a great place for hooks.

Have a place for laundry … and keep it off the floor.

So it’s less overwhelming, you can do this in steps. Break the task down; get it done in a day or over a period of several weeks. Bring in a friend to help or hire a professional organizer 🙂

Off-Season Clothing

Having the right closet space that is large enough to accommodate clothing all year round can be challenging. That’s why it’s important (and necessary) to create a system to store and organize off-season clothing.

No matter how much you love your winter wardrobe, it soon will become time to temporarily store it now that spring is less than four weeks away.

A simple way to pare down is to do an audit of your closet every season. If it’s not on the top of your list: I love to wear it, it’s in great shape, it’s a keepsake, a must-have accessory, then, it’s not “keep-it” worthy.

See-through storage is a lifesaver for hard to reach shelves. It’s also a perfect solution for storing off-season clothing.

About off-season clothing, if you have room under your bed, storing items in soft, flexible space savers or in low and long containers on wheels is a no – brainer solution.

You can store off-season clothes in labeled bins or space saver bags placed on upper shelves, tucked away in another closet, secured in under bed storage, or hung in garment bags to free up space for your spring apparel and accessories.

I suggest using garment boxes that are made of organic or breathable materials such as cotton muslin. Natural canvas and acid-free boxes are other good options.

Your local dry cleaner may provide a service for your convenience. Some will even clean and store items and then deliver in the fall. 

organizing your closet

Spoiler Alert!

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve carefully planned out an outfit in your head and it doesn’t turn out as you expected- on your body.

It’s happened to me and it’s super annoying; especially when I’m excited about an online item that I’ve just purchased. It finally arrives, I can’t wait to try it on and disappointment sets in…it looks just awful.

It’s all about fit and balance. So, when I’ve designed an outfit in my head and it flops, here’s what I do:

I have my go-to clothing items. Several outfits that always work in a pinch. I make sure that they’re clean, unwrinkled and ready to wear at any time. I also make sure that they’re hung where I can see them and they’re easy to grab.

That’s how I keep it simple and turn a disaster into the OOTD!!


Here are some handy tips from the fabulous Fabtotolistyle on the best styling ideas for your wardrobe.

In her blog, FAB teaches you how to use clothes that you already own (money and time saver) and create new outfits and fresh styles!

The Knitty Gritty of Organizing Your Closet

Utilize all of the space you have, including corners. Build and go up as high as you can. 

Install double and triple rods for hanging.

Tap into unused space by hanging shelving above the door frame.

Create an area in your closet to gather all the items you might want to take with you. This could be a closet island, tabletop or a designated shelf to layout your accessories, jewelry and pocketbook.

Built-in drawers with inserts, dividers or custom templates are ideal for storing small items such as sunglasses, jewelry, undergarments, socks, and scarves.

Maximize the space you have by placing your shoes heel to toe. Whether you have clear shoeboxes, shelving built just for shoes or lined up on the floor, this is a clever way to organize your footgear. With a once over you’ll be able to recognize styles and heel heights.

You must have dusters, which are covers, preferably made of soft cotton, to protect your good handbags and shoes.

organizing your closet

I’m not a fan of hanging purses or jewelry as it can cause sagging, stretching or breakage due to the tension put on them.

Avoid the messy knots in jewelry chains by slipping them through a straw and laying them flat.

Make sure to have a mirror on the wall, or nearby to take a good look at your gorgeous ensemble before you head out the door.

Design Your Own Closet

Regularly organizing your closet may help you maintain order regardless of your closet design or space. But nothing will work better than a closet designed specifically for you and your requirements. That’s because how you design and use the space makes all the difference when it comes to organization.

Why not start with a clean slate?

Start by designing a new customized closet to your unique closet organization specifications. In this way, you can take stock of all your clothing, shoes, and accessories so that you can create a closet space and system around what you own.

You can do this quite easily by making use of a DIY custom closet solution such as EasyClosets. Just as the name implies, EasyClosets makes designing, customizing and installing new closets easy. Maximizing storage space and improving your closet organization is as simple as it gets. Plus, all their products are made from 100% recycled and/or recovered wood fiber, which means it’s eco-friendly too. (That’s a huge criterion for me!)

You can check out their user-friendly online design tool or make use of their free design service to start creating your dream closet immediately. Best of all, you can get 5% off your EasyClosets purchase and free delivery if you use the code: CLOSETS165

Organizing your closet

Tips on Designing Your Own Closet

  • Build only what you need by taking stock of all the items you need to store in your closet so that no space is wasted.
  • Measure everything you have TWICE so that your design accommodates and fits your clothing.
  • Make sure that the top rod is placed high enough that you have sufficient space in-between the top and bottom rods to avoid crushing your clothes.
  • Consider the ergonomics of your closet space so that you don’t need to bend down to put things on a shelf that is under knee height.
  • Unless you need double hanging, place shelves above the hanging space so that you can easily see it and reach items on the shelves.
  • Shelving can also be installed elsewhere depending on the size of your space.
  • Include racks on the back of a hinged door for clothes that have just returned from the cleaners or other long items.
  • Design your closet space to be flexible so that it can easily be adjusted or changed as your requirements or wardrobe changes.
  • Remember to include space for shoes as well as a drawer or more for accessories and clothing.

How often do you organize your closet space?

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way. I only promote brands that I believe in and products that I use and love myself. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.


Comments 28

    1. I like the idea of having doors. Yes,
      they help to keep clothes dust free and the backs of doors are ideal for hanging and holding shoes, hats, belts, etc.

  1. I love organizing closets. But perhaps before the actual organizing happens, it’s the editing part that I really love. It’s common for clients to tell me that they need help in their overflowing closets, but they want to keep everything. In all the years I’ve been organizing, that has never happened. It’s incredible what we uncover (and discover) when we start looking item by item. What we find is that there are MANY things that have overstayed their welcome or are “misfiled.” As in, “How did THAT end up there?” Once we edit and remove out of season clothes, items that no longer fit, items beyond repair, or pieces that are no longer enjoyed, what we notice is space…lots of space. That’s when the sorting and organizing begins. It’s a fun visual, colorful puzzle.

    Your tip for keeping necklaces untangled is brilliant. I love the idea of using a straw to keep chains from getting knotted!

    1. Lol- “Overstayed their welcome.” That’s a great way of putting it. I guess they’re not the best guests!
      The straw trick really does work! I have spent too much time untangling so I am grateful for this!

  2. Lots of great ideas Ronni! i love the trick of putting the shoes in heel-to-toe… those bits of saved space can make a huge difference! The idea of designing a closet from scratch is definitely very appealing. i have found that hanger preferences differ from one person to another. what matters is getting ones that you like using! enjoyed the infographic!

    1. It’s amazing how many different ways we can save closet space. You are right about hangers and I have some that I’ve used for quite a long time. They just hold the shape of clothing and they don’t break!!

  3. That 80/20 rule is so true! A few years ago my sister helped me “edit” my wardrobe, which led to me giving away two large bags of clothing of various types. What was left fit easily in my dresser and closet, meaning I don’t need to do the switcheroo when seasons change. However, even with my remaining clothing, there are still a lot of stuff that doesn’t get worn.

    1. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t matter how much has been sorted and edited, 80% doesn’t get worn. I love what you said though, no switcheroos for you. That’s great because it’s draining and a time consuming process. And YOU don’t have to do deal with it.

  4. Wow, Ronni, this is one of those “ultimate guide” posts! You’ve covered everything, but I have to ask, where did you shoot that gorgeous room with the patterned wallpaper, fainting couch, and armoire? There’s no credit, so I’m assuming you took that yourself, and that’s a wow of a room! And add me to the list of those who appreciate the heel-to-toe advice. When my parents built their house, the master bedroom walk-in closet had a slanted shoe rack with a “ridge” for the heel to keep shoes from sliding down, but short of that, reversing the shoes offers accessibility and flexibility. Great job!

    1. Thank you, Julie! You are the best cheerleader. This article was so much fun to write about. I just love closets and everything that helps to make a closet work for our individual needs.
      The nice thing about heel to toe storage is that at a glance you can see everything that you need to about the shoe- heel, height, toe, color, etc.
      I too love the picture you are referring to. It’s from a group of photos I found a while back. I’ll look for the details.

  5. I love organizing closets. Just making everything tidy and showing care for the clothing. You just know that it will affect the owner every morning when they do into the space to get dressed.

    1. Janet,

      I love organizing closets too. It’s always been a favorite project when working with clients.

  6. Thank you! Some really great ideas…I especially like the ideas on how to utilize the entire closet…installing more than one rod…this would be very applicable to my tiny closet.

    1. Double hanging is a game changer. Put items that you wear least often on the top because that’s harder to reach. A small step stool may be helpful.

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  8. Thank you so much for this great guide for organizing one’s clothes closet. There were many ideas and suggestions that are new to me! You write so well, it makes me want to jump in and get started organizing my closet.
    Randi Infusino

    1. Thank you, Randi! I’m so glad this inspired you. Let me know if you have any questions.

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it. Your article was full of lots of helpful information as well!

    1. Thank you, Blake! Are closets and organization a big part of your interior design?
      Let me know if you have any questions.

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